President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Minister of National Education Yusuf Tekin attended the Opening Ceremony of the 2023-2024 School Year held at Atatürk Culture Center.

In his speech at the Opening Ceremony of the 2023-2024 School Year held at Atatürk Culture Center, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that they organized this year's program with a wide participation, including teachers and students.
Wishing the new academic year to be beneficial for the entire education community, Erdoğan said that the students met with their schools on Monday. Erdoğan greeted all teachers who met with their students, whom they do not separate from their children.
President Erdoğan thanked every soldier of the education army who works with love in every inch of the 780 thousand square kilometers of homeland, from districts to villages in 81 provinces of Türkiye and emphasized that the rights of valuable teachers who do not spare any sacrifice to raise young people who are the guarantee of a bright future cannot be paid.
Erdoğan, who respectfully commemorated his esteemed teachers who had a right to do so and contributed to them, wished God's mercy to those who passed away. Wishing God's mercy to all the martyrs of the education community who were martyred in the line of duty, such as Necmettin Yılmaz and Aybüke Yalçın, and all the teachers and students who lost their lives in the February 6 earthquakes, Erdoğan said that they will continue to keep alive and glorify the values for which they sacrificed their lives.
Reminding that they gave the name of the martyr teacher Aybüke Yalçın to the oil field with the largest reserve in the country, Erdoğan said that this oil field, which will produce 100 thousand barrels per day, will continue to be passed on from generation to generation for every value it will add to Türkiye. Stating that they are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of our republic this year and will experience the pride of reaching this important anniversary as a nation on October 29, President Erdoğan emphasized that they will enter the second century of the state with great excitement with the courage and inspiration they receive from the country's thousand-year-old glorious past.
Noting that they shared the Century of Türkiye vision with the public last year, President Erdoğan underlined that people from different views embraced the Century of Türkiye vision which gave them courage and confidence. Erdoğan said that in this way, it is recognized that the Century of Türkiye vision was more than a political discourse and a set of grounded, consistent and comprehensive goals.
Stating that they will strengthen the bridge they built from independence to the future, Erdoğan emphasized that they will build the Century of Türkiye together with 85 million people, hand in hand and heart to heart, just like they did a century ago.
Stating that he wholeheartedly believes that they will achieve this goal as the children of a struggling nation that has overcome many obstacles and achieved the impossible throughout history, Erdoğan emphasized that 21 years of effort, dedication and work are behind his confident and assertive speech.
Drawing attention to the headway made in Türkiye since 2002, President Erdoğan stated that they have removed the obstacles in the way of, and laid the groundwork for, the Century of Türkiye. Noting that extensive preparations have been made in every area including education, technology, transport, defense, democracy, and freedoms and rights, President Erdoğan underlined that they have always attached special importance and priority to education.
"We have appointed 80 percent of the currently working teachers."
Pointing out that the number of classrooms stood at 343 thousand when they came to power in 2002, President Erdoğan added that this number has almost doubled so far, reaching 620 thousand. "While we had around 500 thousand teachers 21 years ago, we now have 1.2 million teachers," said the President, pointing out that 80 percent of the currently working teachers have been appointed during their governments. Stating that they have given additional financial and economic rights to teachers by implementing the Teaching Profession Law, President Erdoğan said that they will increase the additional course hourly fees of people who work in official educational institutions affiliated with the Ministry of National Education and master instructors by approximately 25 percent. The President emphasized that the monthly wages of these people will increase by 91 percent in 2023. Stating that postgraduate students with National Education scholarships have updated their scholarships according to the conditions of the country they study in, President Erdoğan gave the good news that there will be an average increase of around 26-27 percent in scholarships in foreign currency.
Stressing that as Türkiye's economy gets stronger, they will ensure that each individual of the 85 million people gets the share they deserve, President Erdoğan said that they have significantly solved the infrastructure problems by equipping educational institutions with gyms, digital libraries and laboratories.
Stating that they will increase the number of interactive boards in schools from 560 thousand to 620 thousand by the end of 2023, President Erdoğan said that they have improved the physical infrastructure of schools and eliminated the damage caused by the pro- coup mindset in the education system. Noting that they put an end to the coefficient application, President Erdoğan emphasized that they enable girls to receive education by lifting the headscarf ban in secondary schools and high schools. President Erdoğan added that students had the opportunity to learn the Quran and the life of our prophet in all schools in Türkiye. 
"It is quite natural for new needs to emerge within the dynamism of life"
Stating that by distributing textbooks  for free of charge, they saved both parents from a great burden and students from searching for stationery, President Erdoğan emphasized that they expanded pre-school education and brought many innovations, reforms, breakthroughs and regulations in the field of education of Türkiye.
Stating that it is quite natural for new needs to emerge within the dynamism of life, President Erdoğan emphasized that technological possibilities, people's demands, the problems they face, and their expectations and desires have also changed compared to old times. Emphasizing that it will not be possible for educational methods and tools and curriculum to remain the same, President Erdoğan said that children, who are the human capital of the country, are lost among the rusted teeth of the prohibitive, uniformal, reformatted education system.
"The issue of education should not be condemned to ideological inconsistency"
Stating that the perspective focused on success in exams is unfortunately one of the bleeding wounds of the education system, President Erdoğan pointed out that not enough importance is given to thinking, questioning and discovering students' abilities in different fields such as art, sports, science and literature.
Noting that the spiritual values that have kept the nation alive for centuries have been damaged, President Erdoğan said that the state remained indifferent to the demands of the citizens in education and underlined that they will not get anywhere by falling behind the times and that children should be raised according to the needs of the time. Stating that the future of their children is their top priority as the 85 million people , Erdoğan said that they are open to constructive criticism from all stakeholders on the issue of education, regardless of their political views. President underlined that he does not want the issue of education to be condemned to ideological inconsistency.
Arguing that Türkiye is a country that has the capacity to find solutions for every issue, especially for education, with common sense, Erdoğan stated that the same applies to the goals of bringing the country together with a civil, encompassing and liberal constitution.
Emphasizing that Turkish democracy has reached the maturity to make a civilian constitution and that it emerged victorious from the July 15 betrayal, the President underlined that making a civilian constitution will enable them to achieve their goals more easily in the second century of the Republic. 
"We encourage speaking, writing and reading Turkish well"
Emphasizing that he believes that the Century of Türkiye will open the doors of a new era in education, Erdoğan said that they have completed the preparations of some projects in line with the experience of the last 21 years, the demands of the people and today's conditions.
Stating that they have reconsidered the undergraduate programs, teacher employment and professional development processes, Erdoğan said that they aim to ensure that teachers perform their profession more peacefully and raise students more successfully.
Warning that the use of social media tools along with smartphones among young people brings with it problems such as screen addiction, concentration problems, unconscious sharing of personal information, lack of seriousness and discipline, Erdoğan announced that they have already taken and will take steps to prevent these problems. President Erdoğan stated that they encourage speaking, writing and reading Turkish well in the face of the negative effects of digital media.
Underlining that they will make every effort to improve students' vocabulary, conceptual knowledge and thinking skills, President Erdoğan said that they will fight against bad intentions encouraged by global power centers, protect the family institution and raise children according to these values. 
"It is very important to continue the successful examples of the past related to education."
Pointing out that they will not harm past achievements while pursuing the new, President Erdoğan said that it is important to continue past successful examples of education. Stating that they, as the government, have always acted with this understanding until now, Erdoğan emphasized that they have reached a very good position in meeting the country's workforce needs with the projects they have recently implemented in vocational education.
Stating that they have produced a solution in this field by establishing strong cooperation between schools, industry and family, Erdoğan stressed that they have quickly met the need for pre-school education institutions that arose due to the increase in the population and number of employees of the cities.
"Healing the wounds caused by earthquakes in education is at the top of our agenda."
Stating that they have put apprenticeship training back on track and that they will continue by strengthening these projects, Erdoğan emphasized that healing the wounds caused by the February 6 earthquakes in education and training is their top priority agenda item. Stating that 936 schools and 11 thousand 738 classrooms became unusable due to the disaster of the century, Erdoğan said that in addition to the planned number of schools and classrooms, they have opened 2 thousand 571 new classrooms that were urgently needed. Announcing that they will make a total of 15 thousand 720 classrooms ready next year, Erdoğan stated that the maintenance and repair works of 48 thousand classrooms in the region have been completed so far and 11 thousand containers have been put at the service of teachers under the coordination of AFAD.
Pointing out that they will continue to do their best to ensure that children in the earthquake zone do not face any problems in education, Erdoğan asked the students to look to the future with hope and excitement. Asking the students not to forget the words; 'read, think, apply, conclude', Erdoğan asked them to read, learn and research a lot in order to prepare themselves well for the future. Stating that tomorrow's engineers, doctors, teachers, scientists, artists, thinkers and presidents will be selected among the students, Erdoğan concluded his words by wishing that the 2023-2024 school year would be successful to the national education community, country and the nation.
"We will structure our education system as a process of liberation that will include all the conditions of being a "good person" and "knowing yourself"
Stating that the opening ceremony was a moment of reunion, Minister of National Education Yusuf Tekin underlined that this moment of reunion is not just the beginning of a calendar for the education army. Emphasizing that this moment of reunion also corresponds to a historical period that symbolizes the ideal of the Century of Türkiye under the leadership of President Erdoğan, Tekin said that this period, corresponding to the second century of the republic, will embody the great vision of civilization in every aspect and with all its goals for the construction of a more just and free world. He said that it also represents the dawn of a new horizon.
Stating that the phenomenon of education has an undeniable importance in the development of societies and constitutes the most important pillar of the Century of Türkiye, Minister Tekin said that Türkiye has made important breakthroughs and achieved great success in education in the last twenty years under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Stating that in the process which has been going on for 20 years, educational environments have been improved in terms of physical, scientific and technological infrastructure incomparably with the past and have reached contemporary world standards, Tekin said that these developments have brought about the social transformations experienced in Türkiye's last quarter century. Emphasizing that these changes are the starting manifesto of the Century of Türkiye, Minister Tekin said that creating an education system that is based on the essence and soul of the nation is one of the most important pebbles of this manifesto.
Mentioning that the material infrastructure of this process has been largely completed, Tekin said that it is time to build their own education system on this infrastructure and to produce their own model with a collective and national educational awareness. Minister noted that the education model will position itself on a philosophy that is compatible with the universal nature of our human existence. Stressing that Türkiye's education model will be shaped with a national content that carries the basic characteristics of the history, tradition and civilization, Minister Tekin underlined that they have to universalize while preserving nationality and give life to a liberal and natural development process. Underlining that only in this way will they be able to achieve the desired goals in education, Tekin said that they will be able to produce a rich acquis that is based on the natural and natural development of young people and meets their pedagogical needs.
Expressing that they will structure Türkiye's education system as a process of liberation that will include all the conditions of being a "good person" and "knowing yourself," Minister Tekin said that every step will be taken in line with this awareness and all policies will be developed in consultation with stakeholders. 
Minister Tekin stated that he is committed to working day and night together with more than 1 million teachers and administrators whose hearts are full of love for the homeland and nation with a philosophy that is proud of its past and takes its past as an example, with a vision equipped with the requirements of the age, with a work that will be set as an example to the whole world in order to build the next century as the Century of Türkiye the ideal outlined by President Erdoğan.
Congratulating the 2023-2024 School year, Minister Tekin expressed his gratitude to President Erdoğan for his support.
President Erdoğan rang the bell for the new school year
After the speeches, Minister of National Education Yusuf Tekin presented President Erdoğan with the original print of the work "Lisanülacem", which was prepared in 12 years and was engraved by the first Turkish printer İbrahim Müteferrika.
Certificates of high achievement were given to teachers who worked in the search and rescue unit of the Ministry during the earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaraş.
President Erdoğan rang the bell for the new school year with Minister Tekin and the students.
Minister of Youth and Sports Osman Aşkın Bak, Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Muhammet Emin Akbaşoğlu and Bahadır Yenişehirlioğlu, and Chief Advisor to the President Erdoğan Akif Çağatay Kılıç also attended the opening ceremony, where students gave a concert and poetry recitation.

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